By Jackson Mutabazi
A gentleman called Asuman Bisiika; a former guest of Rwanda from the late Nineties to the early 2000 has now jumped onto the Ugandan propagandist bandwagon of politicizing the passing of Joy Agabe, sister to the late hero Fred Rwigyema. Or is Bisiika merely up to his usual laughable poses and affectations, that he is some great “expert” on Rwanda?
He likes to trade on the few years he was in Kigali, decades ago, to pontificate on all things Rwandan.
But if Bisiika for instance truly knew anything about Rwanda, he would understand why the funeral of Joy Rwigyema appeared to be such a low-key affair. Ugandans go to funerals in huge numbers. They close down offices and businesses and go. That is their cultural way, and no one judges them for that. Rwandans do things in their own way. They prefer low-key events with close family members, and you won’t see whole communities abandon everything to go to someone’s funeral.
This prompts people like Bisiika and so many others like him across the border to take out their judgmental pens. “Kagame did not attend the funeral of Joy!” they alarm. All one can say is, these people should learn some respect. They should learn some cultural sensitivity!
One will give another example. Most Ugandan cultures demand that when someone dies, members of the entire community go to the wake and spend the entire night sleeping there, in the open. In Rwanda, family and neighbors come around, pay their respects, take a few hours comforting the grieving family, and leave.
Whom will the Ugandans next be blaming for having failed to go to sleep at the wake of Joy?
God knows. It really is infuriating how the Museveni regime propaganda outlets are so determined to trample on the memory of Joy; a lady beloved by so many and who was sent on her way in utmost dignity.
In all the years Bisiika has been pretending to be an authority on Rwanda, one would ask if he knows nothing about these things. On the other hand he could merely be dancing to the tune of his employer, Daily Monitor which has become another organ for dissemination of Ugandan intelligence misinformation.
This analysis is consistent with more of the journalist’s recent articles on the current strained relations between Kampala and Kigali, like his article of Saturday 23 last month, titled “Sad: Rwanda-Uganda tiff could collapse East African Community”.
It was very typical of Bisiika however in that it treated a very serious subject – the Memorandum of Understanding whose aim is to resolve the standoff – as if it were another of his jokes. “At what level of death is the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding between Gen. Paul Kagame and Gen. Yoweri Museveni?” the man wrote. “Has the said MoU been ‘deathed’ or is it in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)?” he continued.
This person is too unserious, in anything that he does. The article contained the usual pretentious mixing of the occasional Kinyarwanda words in his article, part of his usual shtick meant to buttress his supposed credentials as “an authority on Rwanda.” It is just a pose; very easy to see through by anyone with real expertise on Rwandan society.
In his article he seems more interested in creating a false equivalence between the activities of Museveni – his country’s ruler who is unashamedly working with groups with the mutual goal to destabilize Rwanda – and the Rwandan leadership, which is working to protect its citizens from Uganda’s security agencies.
Bisiika chooses to borrow from the Ugandan media playbook whereby everyone has reduced the serious issue to “clashing egos” between the two presidents. “A tiff between the two generals”, in his words.
It is lazy, unserious and can only be published in an outlet highly invested in a narrative that ends up faulting Rwanda much more than Uganda.
One would ask the people that like to talk of “egos”, how can Rwanda be part of their blame games?
Uganda is the one hosting groups that have declared war on the neighbor, like RNC – to the extent the rebel group’s chief financier has built a factory in northern Uganda in which members of the top Ugandan leadership even are shareholders. Or to the extent Kampala has enabled RNC use of intelligence services like CMI to abduct innocent Rwandans in Uganda at will, as part of their war against Rwanda. Or to the extent the intelligence organs work with RNC agents recruiting fighters for RNC, and facilitating their transportation to training camps.
These only are a very few examples of the anti-Rwanda activities the Museveni regime is up to.
If Bisiika were a journalist of some integrity he would long have asked his regime if Rwanda is engaged in correspondingly hostile acts against Uganda. That however would be digging for the truth, which Bisiika and his masters have little interest in.
But then, what integrity would one expect of someone that likes to jump on Rwandan affairs, yet only in 2016 Museveni forces were massacring hundreds of his Bakonzo kinsmen and women in Kasese?
Bisiika, a good Mukonzo, would be the last person to take stances aligned with those of someone responsible for crimes of humanity against his people.
Wonders never cease!